KOLOT luncheon to feature victims of abuse
Florida State Sen. Lauren Book will be honored at the KOLOT “Breaking The Silence” luncheon. Courtesy (Courtesy)
Florida State Sen. Lauren Book (D-32), a victim of sexual abuse as a child by her nanny, will receive the 2017 Ending Abuse Award at the Goodman Jewish Family Service of Broward County’s 10th annual KOLOT “Breaking The Silence” luncheon Jan. 8, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Plantation.
Book, one of only two currently elected Jewish Florida State senators, is the founder of “Lauren’s Kids,” a not-for-profit organization advocating for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Book also chronicled her years of childhood abuse by her nanny in her memoir “It’s OK to Tell.”
A resident of Plantation, the 32-year-old Book is the daughter of Florida lobbyist Ron Book.
“I am honored to be recognized at the luncheon because I know how hard it is to find your voice and break the silence,” said Book.
“When you are a victim of abuse, many times people don’t realize what is going on. Ninety percent of the time, your abuser is someone you, your family and friends trust. It is incredibly hard to come forward as a victim.”
Also speaking at the luncheon will be author Leslie Morgan Steiner, a victim of domestic sexual abuse, who shared her personal experiences in her book “Crazy Love.”
“At the luncheon, I will be telling the personal story of how I fell in love with, married and eventually escaped from a physically and emotionally abusive man. Falling in love with him was like falling into a carefully laid physical, financial and emotional trap disguised as love,” said Steiner.
“Love is always about respect, joy and kindness. Violence and abuse never should play a role in an intimate relationship. It is important to never, ever ignore red flags in a relationship.”
Both Book and Steiner praised the importance of GJFS and other family service agencies in combating sexual abuse.
“There has long been a myth that abuse doesn’t happen in Jewish families. I applaud GJFS and other similar organizations around the country for insisting that this topic is one that needs to be tackled openly,” said Steiner.
“Goodman Jewish Family Services does an incredible and important job of raising awareness to eliminate that stigma to allow victims to come forward to be heard and helped,” said Book.
The GJFS Domestic Abuse Program provides counseling, case management, emergency financial assistance, among other services to both Jewish and non-Jewish victims of domestic abuse.
“Our domestic abuse program is the first ‘safe place’ for victims of domestic abuse to begin the process of healing,” said GJFS Chief Executive Officer Jacob Schreiber.
KOLOT is a coalition of volunteers of advocates, social workers and domestic abuse survivors who are committed to informing the community about sexual abuse.
For tickets to the luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel, 1230 S. Pine Island Road in Plantation, call 954- 370-2140 or go to www.jfsbroward.org.